Nicole is all geared up for attempt on Academy Trophy
FIA Academy Trophy aspirant Nicole Coffey tuned up for the first round of the international series in Portugal next weekend with a brace of second places in the Minimax category at Whiteriver Park last weekend.
Coffey heads to Braga in Portugal next week, where she will compete against the top young drivers, male and female, from all over the world in the most competitive arena of underage karting.
The 13-year-old has been selected as one of two fully financed drivers from an International shootout run by the 'CIK-FIA Women in Motorsport Commission' in Fruili, Italy, to select a girl driver for a place in the CIK-FIA Academy Trophy.
Coffey, whose father John was a well-known Formula Ford and Formula Opel racer in the 1980s, is one of the top emerging talents in Irish karting, having taken the 2010 Novice of the Year title in her first full season of racing.
That year produced one race win, four podium finishes and seven placings inside the top six, as well as second in the All-Ireland Karting Championship and third in the Irish Kart Grand Prix in the cadet class.
"I was the only girl racing in the cadets, which was hard at the start as the boys don't like a girl beating them, but because I was a quick driver they had to get used to it," says the Rathfarnham native.
She switched to the more powerful Minimax class midway through last season and, after coming to terms with the new equipment, has produced a string of impressive results this year.
"2012 is my second year racing in Minimax," says Coffey in her Motorsport.ie blog.
"So far it's been a good season and I'm really enjoying the racing as it is so competitive (especially among the dads!). I have had two race wins, two podiums and I'm currently placed third in the Minimax Championship."
Meanwhile, Motorsport Ireland has confirmed that the 100th anniversary Phoenix Park Motor Races will take place as scheduled on August 18 and 19.
"The Phoenix Park Motor Races is an iconic date in the Irish motorsport calendar," says event clerk of the course Ann Stevens.
"There is a huge passion for the sport right across the country and it always manages to attract tens of thousands of spectators.
"Many people will have seen the recent motorsport demonstration on the streets of Dublin, but now they have the chance to see competitive motorsport action on their doorstep at the historic Phoenix Park track, and all for free."